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Julia della Croce is a journalist and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and cooking teacher. Many of her titles have been translated into 13 other languages and distributed worldwide. Her work has appeared in many publications including Cook’s, Food & Wine, Art & Antiques and the Boston Globe. She has broadcast extensively on radio and television, including NPR and the Food Network. Her blog, Forktales, has been cited by The New York Times' Diner's Journal "What We’re Reading" section.

Besides working toward the preservation of traditional Italian cuisine through publishing and teaching, Julia has dedicated herself to advocacy work for better food and sustainable agriculture. She pioneered an award-winning healthy school food program at an independent school in New York and developed a nutrition program providing natural food and local farm-raised produce to an emergency food pantry in New York City serving some 900,000 people every year. She serves on the advisory committee of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy. Read more about Julia on

Italian winter squash stew with tomato, dry-cured olives and garlic. Credit: Hirsheimer & Hamilton, “Italian Home Cooking,” by Julia della Croce (Kyle Books)

For such a storied vegetable, the pumpkin has a dull reputation in the United States. Except for a bit of excitement around Halloween and

Coluccio Family Quick Linguine and Tomato Lunch, from "Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul, by Julia della Croce" (Kyle Books). Credit: Hirsheimer & Hamilton

Long before Brooklyn became a mecca for hipsters, it buzzed with Italian immigrants. Hearing the dialects on the streets of Williamsburg, Red Hook or

Romanesco zucchini at 3 ½ inches and ready for picking, Italian style. Credit: Susan Freiman

In midsummer, food writers feel compelled to advise their readers on how to survive an imminent zucchini invasion. The topic generates a slew of

Bucatini with pistachio pesto. Credit: Nathan Hoyt

The basil in my garden is young and tender now, its leaves beckoning to be made into a pesto. Pesto, from the Italian pestare,